Change of luck for Brad Widdup at Randwick

Brad Widdup has been on the wrong side of close finishes more times than he would like to remember but his luck was finally in at Randwick.

The talented trainer celebrated a race-to-race double with Moon Reader in the Sporting Chance Cancer Foundation Handicap (1200m) and Surreal Step in the Taylor Construction Handicap (1100m).

Both horses did it the hard way, Moon Reader ($18) getting the verdict by a nose over Kanazawa ($6.50) and Surreal Step ($11) prevailing by a short head over Much Much Better ($7).

But given Widdup’s stable star Icebath lost two major races in photo finishes, the 2020 Golden Eagle and 2021 Doncaster Mile, he was happy to be on the right side of the ledger for a change.

Widdup said Sydney racing had become so high-level and competitive, there was hardly any margin for error or bad luck.

“We’ve seen that with Icebath, haven’t we,” Widdup said.

“She has been great, but it would have been nice to get a couple of those wins.

“We have been slowly building a nice bunch of horses up for Saturday racing, which is what we want to be about.

“It’s good to have a good day and I hope they keep throwing the big prices up.”

Surreal Step had run into bad luck at his first two runs for Widdup, including when he was badly held up for galloping room when sixth to stablemate Vulpine at Scone last start.

Widdup admitted he was concerned the horse might have missed his chances and was relieved to see him atone.

“When they miss those couple of opportunities, it is hard to back it up again,” he said.

“He’s had his convictions, but he did a good job.

“We will go to the Bob Charley (Stakes) now.”

Surreal Step was ridden by Chad Schofield, while injury-plagued jockey Andrew Adkins celebrated his first metropolitan win since returning from a fractured arm suffered in a pre-race incident at Canberra in February.

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